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WHY A GRASSLAND GARDEN?
California’s native grasslands are teeming with life—birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, and other animals depend on grasslands. Grassland ecosystems consist of grasses, grass-like plants, shrubs, and forbs, and support about 40% of California’s native plant species. Development, agriculture, and invasion by exotic species have reduced California native grasslands by 99%. Grasslands are important for carbon sequestration, flood reduction, erosion prevention, and food production.
GRASSLANDS AND CLIMATE CHANGE
Restoring grassland habitat can help address climate change, because as they grow plants take in carbon dioxide from the air and store it for a long time. This process is called carbon sequestration, and it helps reduce the heating of our atmosphere. In fact, grasslands are just as important for locking away carbon as forests!
Deep Root Systems
Grasslands store most of their carbon underground in their root biomass
Yellow-faced Bumble Bee Bombus vosnesenskii
California Fescue Festuca californicas
Purple needlegrass Stipa pulchra
Deer grass Muhlenbergia rigens
Alkali sacaton Sporobolus airoides
Western Monarch Danaus plexippus
Western Monarchs can be found in Sacramento from early spring through fall. This garden provides habitat for monarchs by including nectar plants for adults and milkweed for caterpillars.
Western Monarch caterpillar changing into a chrysalis.
California Sister Adelpha californica
Orange Sulphur Colias eurytheme
Pipeline Swallowtail Battus philenor
CALIFORNIA NATIVE PLANTS
Planting California native plants, like those you see in this garden, is a great way to create draught-tolerant landscaping. These plants were chosen because they provide food, shelter, and nesting material for many birds and pollinators. Species like Phacelia and Coyote Mint are favorites of bees and butterflies, while Coffeeberry and grasses provide fruits and seeds for birds.
Coyote Mint Monardella villosa
Rock phacelia Phacelia californica
Yarrow Achillea millefolium
Great Valley Gumweed Grindelia camporum
California Coffeeberry Frangula californica
Farewell to Spring Clarkia gracilis